Yes, Automating ICFR Helps, But… 

icfr

Internal audit and GRC professionals talk all the time about the importance of automating internal controls. Now we have some fresh academic research demonstrating what sort of benefit a company can gain from following that path. The research comes from Musaib Ashraf, an accounting professor at Michigan State University who published a nifty paper several…

Read More

PCAOB Talks 2024 Audit Issues

pcaob

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board plans to inspect more corporate audits in 2024, casting an especially watchful eye at audits of financial and IT companies, as well as businesses that engaged in mergers and acquisitions in 2023. So says an alert the PCAOB published earlier this week, previewing the agency’s priorities for 2024 audit…

Read More

An Update on SOX Compliance Issues

sox compliance

Earlier this week I attended a webinar hosted by KPMG about the current state of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, since 2023 is coming toward a close and audit professionals need to start thinking about the SOX compliance season that will start up early next year. We have lots to go through here.  For starters, SOX compliance does…

Read More

SEC Warns on Risk Assessments

risk assessments

The top accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission is warning auditors and corporations alike to do better at risk assessments, and in particular to pay more attention to small control failures that might be suggestive of larger issues in a company’s control environment. Chief accountant Paul Munter released his statement Friday afternoon, a maneuver…

Read More

PCAOB Blasts Audit Firm Deficiencies

pcaob

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is taking audit firms to task this week, issuing a special report about the most recent round of PCAOB inspections that found an “unsettling trend” of ever-more deficient audits — results that the PCAOB chair blasted as “absolutely unacceptable.”  “These findings are absolutely unacceptable, and audit firms must make…

Read More

PCAOB Lists 2023 Inspection Priorities

pcaob

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has released its list of priorities for audit firm inspections in 2023, in case any internal audit and financial compliance teams want to understand where your auditor is feeling the pressure and how that pressure might fall through onto you. The PCAOB releases such a list every spring after…

Read More

Report: Accounting Lawsuits Getting Pricey

lawsuits

Good news for anyone arguing for more investment in strong internal accounting controls: fresh research shows that companies are paying a lot more money to settle the lawsuits that follow when your weak accounting controls screw things up. So says Cornerstone Research, an outfit that has been tracking the trends in class-action lawsuits for years.…

Read More

An Update on SOX Compliance Issues

sox compliance

The season for Sarbanes-Oxley audits is now mostly behind us, which means we’re moving into the season of webinars about this year’s SOX audits and lessons we can learn for future years. I attended one such webinar this week and am here to pass along my notes.  The webinar itself was run by audit firm…

Read More

New COSO Help on Sustainability Reporting

ESG

COSO dropped extensive new guidance this week on how companies can build effective internal control over sustainability reporting, to assure that the ESG disclosures your company might make have the same accuracy and reliability that exists for financial reporting. COSO published the guidance on Thursday — 114 pages of it, walking the reader through every…

Read More

Cybersecurity Risk: Something’s Happening

qualitatively material

I was working at my desk last week when the phone rang. At the other end of the line was my friend the cybersecurity auditor. “Dude, we have to talk,” he said. “Our team here has discovered an issue.”  Ummm, a lot of people in our line of work have issues, I replied. Can you…

Read More